Halo Infinite ending and post-credits scene explained

Halo Infinite Preview 2021
Halo Infinite Preview 2021 (Image credit: Windows Central)

One of the strongest aspects of the Halo Infinite campaign is its story, which features a significant amount of character depth and some fascinating plot points that indicate where the story will go next. All of this culminates in the game's powerful ending, which can be a little difficult to follow if you're caught up in all the action. Halo Infinite's post-credits scene also has some huge revelations that will no doubt have a massive impact on the story moving forward, but players that aren't well-versed in Halo's expanded universe may not grasp its significance.

Warning: Spoilers for Halo Infinite's campaign follow, so proceed with caution!

While it's true that aspects of the game's conclusion are intentionally meant to be unclear, there's a lot that can be gleaned from context clues. With all this in mind, we're going to break down Halo Infinite's ending as well as the game's post-credits scene in this article so that you understand everything that's going on.

Halo Infinite ending explained: Escharum's death

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After Blademaster Jega 'Rdomnai captures Echo 216 (also known as "The Pilot"), Master Chief and The Weapon are determined to save him — even if that means walking directly into a Banished trap. After fighting his way across its perimeter grounds, Chief needs to head into the House of Reckoning, an infamous base used to torture and kill captured UNSC Marines. War Chief Escharum contacts Chief directly once you enter, taunting him with stories of these horrors while declaring that the Banished will break the spirit of the Master Chief and the UNSC. Chief then has to fight his way through multiple hordes of Banished troops while making his way to Echo 216's location.

Along the way, Chief encounters Blademaster Jega 'Rdomnai himself. As Escharum's best friend and right hand, 'Rdomnai was given a special opportunity opportunity to either score his greatest kill or die a warrior's death. After a long fight, the Spartan finally prevails against the fearsome Blademaster, continuing his search for Echo 216 shortly afterwards.

Chief and The Weapon eventually find Echo 2016 imprisoned within an energy field, but as the duo moves to free him, War Chief Escharum announces his presence. Eager to finally challenge Master Chief to a warrior's duel, the aging warlord drops down from above with his battle armor, Scrap Cannon, and his unique Gravity Hammer.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The pair exchange fire until Escharum activates a special energy shield that makes him impervious to all damage, but The Weapon is able to counter by exposing the energy relays that power it. After Chief destroys all four of these relays, Escharum will cast aside his Scrap Cannon and charge the Spartan with his Gravity Hammer. Once the smoke clears between the two legendary warriors, Master Chief is found triumphantly standing over the dying Escharum.

The defeated War Chief asks the Chief to "tell them that I died well," convinced that his legend will inspire countless Banished troops. After getting Echo 216 out of his containment field, Chief laments that ultimately, Escharum was like him; a soldier trying to do what he felt was right for his people. Chief and The Weapon then begin moving to the SIlent Auditorium to stop The Harbinger while Echo 216 searches for a new Pelican.

Halo Infinite ending explained: The Harbinger's defeat

Source: Xbox Game Studios (Image credit: Source: Xbox Game Studios)

As they make their way through the Silent Auditorium towards The Harbinger, Master Chief and The Weapon discover a series of Cortana's data clusters that reveal that while she was unable to fight Atriox and the Banished due to The Weapon locking her down, she managed to partially destroy Zeta Halo to thwart Atriox's plans with the ring. Then, once the pair reaches The Harbinger's location, The Weapon discovers that the structure was seemingly used as a courtroom and sentencing chamber by the Forerunners. The Harbinger appears directly after this, confirming that she, along with an unknown group called "The Endless," were punished in the Silent Auditorium by the Forerunners. And now that the Banished have freed her from her imprisonment, she intends to free the rest of the Endless.

Chief fights The Harbinger directly, managing to avoid her speedy attacks with lightning reflexes of his own. She periodically ducks into an impenetrable shield to attempt to open a portal between the Silent Auditorium and the location of the Endless while bringing in Banished reinforcements to help her, but The Weapon is able to successfully disable her shield each time. Eventually, The Harbinger falls, unable to complete her objective. Before she dies, she leaves a message for an ally, telling them that "You have all you need."

Halo Infinite ending explained: Cortana's final message

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Shortly after The Harbinger is defeated, a special holographic message left behind by Cortana before her death appears behind Chief and The Weapon. Cortana apologizes for her previous actions, admitting that she was wrong and that she wants to make amends before her time is up. She encourages Chief to welcome The Weapon into his life and embrace her as a friend, just like he previously did with Cortana herself.

Her image then fades as the Silent Auditorium begins to crumble around Chief and The Weapon, threatening to entomb them. Suddenly, a portal opens, and since it's their only avenue for escape, Chief and The Weapon jump through. Shortly afterwards, the pair are thrown back out onto the surface of Zeta Halo. Echo 216 immediately contacts them and picks them up, excited to help Chief continue fighting the remaining Banished forces on Zeta Halo. The Weapon realizes that they still don't know what his name is and eagerly questions him about it.

Echo 216 reveals that his name is Fernando Esparza, but points out that The Weapon hasn't told anyone her name either. The Weapon hesitates, unsure if it's okay, but Master Chief reassures her and tells her that she has the right to choose her own name. She settles on one (it's never spoken out loud) and the trio prepare to take off as the credits roll.

Halo Infinite post-credits scene explained

Note: This analysis is of the Legendary ending version of the post-credits scene.

Once the credits finish rolling, a special final cutscene will begin to play along with audio of a conversation between Zeta Halo's Monitor, Despondent Pyre, and a character known as the "Grand Edict." This conversation took place in 97,368 BCE, which is several years after the Halo rings were originally fired but still nearly a 100,000 years before the Halo universe's current events.

The cutscene opens with what appears to be the hand of a Brute unlocking a chamber filled with a special type of the Forerunner Cylixes that were seen throughout Halo Infinite. The Grand Edict, who is most likely a high-ranking Forerunner, gets confirmation from Despondent Pyre that the Cylixes and Auditorium are prepared, vowing to contain the Endless and to inform the "Criterion," which is likely a council of other Forerunner leaders, to proceed. The Grand Edict states that "Time will forget they ever existed," promising to prevent the Endless from figuring out a way to control the construct of time. He then declares that "if Halo cannot end them, then it must imprison them," suggesting that the Endless were somehow not affected by the firing of the Halo rings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Despondent Pyre then comments that she is unsure if she can maintain the Endless' imprisonment alone as the camera pans to the Brute, revealing that it is Atriox. The conversation ends with the Grand Edict stating that Despondent Pyre will not be alone, and that Offensive Bias, the AI that defeated the Flood-corrupted Mendicant Bias during the Forerunner-Flood War, has been deployed by the Criterion.

Based on everything seen and heard in this cutscene, it appears that Atriox has personally freed the Endless from their Cylixes, succeeding where The Harbinger failed. Though Despondent Pyre has failed to stop this from happening, this dialogue strongly suggests that Offensive Bias will reveal itself at some point in the future to stop Atriox and the Endless. Therefore, it's possible that we'll become allied with the Forerunner AI during this future conflict.

The Halo Infinite campaign is available now for $60 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. It's one of the best Xbox shooters ever made, so you should definitely pick it up and give it a shot.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.